ME!

At the beginning of the year, I told myself this was going to be it. This was going to be my year of success.

Two non work related things were happening.

First, I turned 40. Now normally, in Asian culture you’re not supposed to celebrate because four is a bad number and you’re just messing with the joo-joo of life, but I wanted go at it with a bang. I went on a big trip with my friends to Universal Studios and got to be a wizard for five days, I had a spa retreat with my sisters, and I did an old school Chinese banquet with the fam to show them how much they meant to me. Brian gave me an awesome day on my actual birthday, but he’s always amazing and I feel like mentioning it over and over again is unnecessary and flatters him too much.

Secondly, I am finally done my meds! SEE YA, Tamoxifen! I’m still feeling the effects of it now, I guess when you suppress hormones for five years and then stop cold turkey, they’re gonna get excited and drunk like a 19 year old and show you what it means to party.

With all that going on, how could I lose? I told myself I would increase sales online and try for a few shows that have always been out of my reach and I told myself I could do it. I wanted Fan Expo, Toronto Etsy, and the One of a Kind Winter show.

I got into Fan Expo and Toronto Etsy, both which were INCREDIBLE and you will be seeing me at them again, but I got waitlisted yet again for OOAKS which really bummed me out.
Then, in Sept, I got a call, missed it, freaked out, listened to maybe 5 seconds of the vm before I screamed in Brian’s face incoherently and did victory laps around the living room. I’M IN BABY!

I can’t tell you what an amazing journey it’s been. The end of the year is going to be bananas with show prep, plus I really want to push hard so I will do a few more shows (what is WRONG with me) as well. There are two and a half months left to 2019, and I’m hitting the ground running full speed at 2020.

Just one moment…

That’s all it takes to completely change the future.

My uncle told me a story today about my grandmother during World War II. It was nearing the end of the war, near the summer of 1945, and she lived in a small village in China with her husband (my grandfather), and his mother (my great-grandmother).  She was 8 months pregnant with my uncle, her first born son. One day, the Japanese soldiers lined up all the villagers and formed a firing squad. They received an order to execute everyone before they left the country for good. She stood there in that line the entire day, probably thinking she was going to die. The commander must have had a soft heart, because they didn’t go through with it and all the soldiers simply vanished the next day. The Japanese surrendered shortly after, and a few months later, she was on a rickety old boat to Hong Kong, clutching her new baby and looking for a better life.

It boggles my mind, the ripple effect of what her being shot would mean.

People often comment on how close I am with my first cousins, they are siblings to me. My aunts and uncles are like secondary parents.   I still remember sitting in my uncle’s old station wagon, with seats in the back so you were staring out at the people behind you.  I remember my aunt scolding me for being impolite and not greeting guests that came over and how I cried because I was embarrassed by my behaviour.  I remember my oldest cousin dutch-ovening me in her basement apartment after she got married and learning what a dutch oven was.  I remember singing a whole new world with another cousin on a dark road and being cut off by our own screams when we almost ran something over. I could go on and on. We are still close to this day, and now their children are my nieces and nephews.

There are three generations alive today proceeding my grandmother. Three generations that would have ceased to exist.

All it took was one moment, one decision, and I’m sitting here writing this blog post.

Peace out, funk out!

Things I’ve done in the past week:

  • Came up with a bunch of new products
  • Setup a true e-commerce website (check it out: http://luuee.com)
  • Turned off my antivirus and installed a whole metric shit ton of malware forcing me to reformat and reinstall windows on my PC
  • Hit a jump shot throwing a tissue into the waste basket

I think it’s safe to say I’m out of my rut, and it feels wonderful. My brain is all wired and I’m accomplishing a lot of tasks. I don’t really want to sleep these days because I don’t want to lose momentum! The ideas aren’t revolutionary, rather, they’re simple and minimal designs that represent my brand and make the products more cohesive. Overall, I’m happy with the turn out.

I spoke at the beginning of the year about being more thoughtful and having a vision, and I think as we round into the tail end of the year I’m realizing what that means. I’ve been watching a couple of videos on SkillShare about building your social media base, and they all talk about having a story and setting goals about what you want to share in your posts. They suggest showing your progress on projects and behind the scenes shots. I’ve always been hesitant with sharing too much, and that’s probably a symptom of my introversion. This will require some serious think tanking on my part, as I’ve just been going along blindly with Instagram and not really understanding why some things work and others don’t.

It will be an interesting next project, amidst building inventory for the upcoming fall season.

But that’s okay because we’re back baby! All new challenges accepted!

The First Sad Shower of 2017

2017 has been a funny year so far. Not funny ha-ha, but more like a ‘hey that smells kinda funny’.

My grandmother passed away in the spring. I was lucky enough to know all of my grandparents growing up. She was the last one to go, and with her passing, the link to my childhood seemed to vanish. It was a deep sadness of not only losing someone I loved dearly, but a knowing that all of our cherished moments had truly ended and are reduced to memories in old photographs. It was a knowing that I’d never be able to recreate them with grandchildren of my own, that my future would be vastly different from what she experienced.

I’ve been in a bit of a funk since then, and can’t seem to find inspiration for something new and creative. I believe it’s the lackluster state of the world as well that is also impeding me, for there is a lot of tragedy and worrisome events happening that have taken the lead and occupied my mind.

Forget about funny. Incredulous is a better word to describe 2017. Incredulous that humans are still as cruel as they are. I’m not even sure what benefit we gain from being mean-spirited, but there it is, fueled by hatred. I wish that people could understand and respect the fact that there are different situations and different lives that people lead. That there are a lot more unfortunate in the world than fortunate, and by turning our backs on them, we turn our backs on humanity. Life is fleeting, and death is unprejudiced. Giving people their human rights doesn’t mean that we are taking away others. Being curious and gaining knowledge is a good thing for us!

I want to get out of this funk, and I want the world to join me.  We have the capacity to love, learn, and be compassionate. We don’t have to let ourselves be driven by fear.

I can’t build those moments that I cherished with my grandmother for myself, but I would like to hope my nieces and nephews can.

Please, try to think about what it really means to love. I want this funk to go away, and for all of us to be better.

Artsy fart time and other prudent discoveries

I am not sure why it’s so important for me to define what I want to happen in 2017, but I feel like there is a very visible line in between today and tomorrow. Perhaps it has to deal with the fact that I felt I was aimlessly walking through 2016, just letting shit happen randomly, and that I want to buckle down for them roosters that will be cock-a-doodling at my door in the next year.

One goal I have in mind is to be more thoughtful in some of the products I make. I’ll still keep my current product line, but I think it is equally important for me to do some think-tanking and be artistic. Using my design philosophies of simplicity, whimsy, and trying  to reduce the amount of waste I create (this is coming from a girl who regularly poops two to three times a day), I feel like that will challenge and inspire me to keep going and not let Luuee stagnate. As a result, one of my resolutions for 2017 is to make sure I set aside one week per month to work on something new. It might be horrendous and make me question my abilities, but a little humbling never hurts.

I also want to start connecting some other philosophies in my work. I have been agnostic probably since I was a teen, but I devoted quite some time in university studying religions and I paid a little more attention to Buddhism just because I figured it was something that I could get on board with for every day life. It followed that I spent a significant amount of my twenties agonizing over compassion. How was it possible that you let go of everything, all your desires and needs, but still keep compassion? When I finally asked my uncle about this, he said that this was the struggle that it takes to reach Nirvana, the tipping point between getting there and failing miserably. If these guys can’t figure it out, heck if I have any chance. In any event, I’ve always felt it a failing in me that I am not more compassionate. Going forward, I will try to design things that connect these ideas, as well as my culture. With the way the world is going, I think now is the time to stand up and showcase what you believe in and fight for it.

That is the artsy part.

The fartsy covers all other aspects of my personality. A solid 85% of my chemical make up is sarcasm, so you’re probably going to see that come through in my work as well.

Happy new year everyone, I hope you’ll try with me to be a better version of yourself in 2017.